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Scream Silence - Heartburnt (2015) - Review

Band: Scream Silence
Album title: Heartburnt
Release date: 5 June 2015
Label: Plainsong Records

01. Born With Blood On My Hands
02. Art Remains
03. The Seventh Sorrow
04. We Can Do No Wrong
05. Hearburnt
06. The Weeping
07. Conversation 16
08. Etwas Starb In Mir
09. Echoes
10. The End Of The Lie

Sixteen years have passed since the debut album, To Die For..., from this German masters of melancholic gothic rock and metal ambiances Scream Silence and the band must be credited for their constant efforts in creating their own style of heart-breaking melodic dark sounds. I was quite hooked back then by before mentioned debut, but as well their sixth and seventh album, to point out at the two my favorite ones, Aphelia and Apathology, were played quite a lot on my player. If the band was initially known as kind of a missing link between Dreadful Shadows, Depeche Mode, Anathema, HIM etc, the reference to those legendary bands is still there, but yet has almost vanished throughout the years and Scream Silence have slowly but boldly evolved their own personal style and got quite a lot imitators on their own. They named their ninth studio album with a name Heartburnt and just a quick look at the song titles shows what we can expect, at least lyricaly wise there's again a lot of pain, sorrow, heartache and melancholy.

Heartburnt offers something that I wasn't really expecting, more mellow and less deep sound this band ever produced. Yes, everybody will instantly recognize their characteristical sound, but apart from some memorable tracks the band seems to be out of ideas and the lack of energy is more than evident. Also the production is not doing any favours to the songs as it's too much shallow and the factor of depth which so beautifully enriched the feeling of sadness and melancholy inside their past compositions is partially lost, there's too much of that typical superficial dark rock drive powered with too linear drumming and quite simple rhythms. As well the guitar sound is not so profound and I miss those heavy slowly waveing and soul ripping riffs. Aside from the captivating opener "Born With Blood On My Hands", catchy "We Can Do No Wrong" with a nice soul moving refrain, or the emotionally charged semi-ballad - the album title track which has everything I ever loved about Scream Silence - depth, melancholy, catchiness and kind of velvety warmth, the rest of the album simply doesn't give enough of that charming emotions that the listener would expect from the band of such a caliber and the unique flow which grabed you and didn't let you go, that very special flow this band was often able to make in the past is for the most part simply missed. Everything seems to be done with almost all the same patterns and even, if I'm not mistaken, their first try in making a song completely in German language, "Etwas Starb In Mir", doesn't provoke any deeper feelings at all, so better for them to stick with English language.

Thanks to the deep, sensual and velvet baritone voice of Hardy Fieting, who's also responsible for all of the keys, some songs even if they sound like to be done in the line of minor effort used, sound still somehow charming. Just try to imagine how it'll be if songs like "The Seventh Sorrow" or electronically charged "Echoes" would be done with different more bland vocals and with more superficial synths, I can't even imagine that. Heartburnt burns out with the quite fitting ballad "The End Of The Lie", with some nice slide-guitars and kind of a soothing atmospheric rock which nicely builds up in atmosphere. Now, if you're a fan of this band I believe that you'll like this album no matter what, and in my opinion afterall is not that bad, it's just too mellow and sometimes too bland, it's just like a collection of songs that didn't find the place on their previous outputs. It must be understood from what I've said that I expected much more from this German combo and when I'll be in need of some prime quality melancholic rock I'll have to return to some of their older works.

Review written by: T.V.
Rating: 6/10